"Divorce has its way of making you really examine the things that are essential in life … and the things that are not," says Russell Crowe, introducing his forthcoming auction, The Art of Divorce, being held in Sydney in April by global auction house Sotheby's. The catalogue cover features a photo of the actor in a tuxedo, cocktail in hand, toasting the camera.
"Through the process, I had a look around and realised I had a lot of stuff. Career stuff, stuff I've collected, and stuff in general," he explains. "So, in the spirit of moving forward into fresh air, here's a portion of that collection of stuff. The auction [is] a date of particular significance as it's my birthday and also the anniversary of my marriage to Danielle Spencer. May others now enjoy my stuff!"
The auction will take place at Carriageworks, and will see art, movie memorabilia, musical instruments, watches, jewellery, furniture and even the couple's wedding car sold off to the highest bidder. The couple separated five years ago but are only now finalising their divorce.
There will be 227 items up for grabs, all of which can be viewed online or in-person at Carriageworks (for up to a week before the main event), with an estimated total sale price of between $2.6 million and $3.7 million.
There's the pair of Dr. Martens Crowe wore in Romper Stomper and a Leandro Bisiach Snr violin dating back to 1890s Milan which Crowe played in Master and Commander, worth an estimated $110,000 to $140,000. The costume he wore as Captain Jack Aubrey in the same film is expected to be sold for $25,000 to $35,000.
Several works from prominent Australian artists are also up for grabs, including Brett Whiteley's Morton Bay Fig and Palms (1974), part of the artist's first-ever series of Lavender Bay. It has a value of between $100,000 and $150,000.
NRL fans - with a spare $35,000 to $45,000 - can buy the 2008 custom "Rabbitohs" chopper motorcycle, designed and made for Russell Crowe by Orange County Choppers.
"Like everything in life, periods of change encourage people to distribute works they've been the custodians of," says Geoffrey Smith, chairman of Sotheby's Australia. "It's a time of reflection and a time to release works that have been a part of your life."
According to Smith, the auction will provide punters with "a unique insight" into Crowe's alter ego as a passionate collector.
"I was quite surprised by [Russell and Danielle's] level of connoisseurship," he says . "It was a collection that was lived with; it's not like these were collected and put in storage. These items really formed part of their everyday lives, these are works around which a family was raised."
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